Minnesota law handles DWI cases with harsh punishments. The legal system often seems like it is against you from the start. If you have been charged with a DWI, you need an experienced lawyer to help you through Minnesota’s challenging court process.
Understanding Minnesota DWI Court Process
After your DWI arrest, you will typically be held in custody until a judge decides if you are eligible for release. Within 36 hours of the arrest (excluding weekends and holidays), the prosecution will charge you with a crime and take you before a judge. This is called the initial appearance.
Before any trial occurs, the judge will set conditions for your release. Oftentimes, this will require a promise to appear in court, or the need to post a bail. If bail is required and you cannot pay it, you will remain in custody until the time of your arraignment.
The arraignment is the first official court appearance, usually taking place somewhere between 30 and 60 days following your arrest. During this hearing, you will be asked to enter your plea regarding the DWI charges. If you enter a “guilty” plea, the sentence will be issued immediately. If you choose to plead “not guilty,” a pre-trial conference will be set.
The pre-trial conference is a second court appearance. Here, a judge will hear any updates to your case. At this time, you may be able to make a plea bargain. This sometimes results in a reduced penalty in exchange for a “guilty” plea.
If you choose not to enter a plea bargain, the case will proceed to trial. At this time, an attorney can file a pre-trial motion, such as having any questionable evidence withheld from the court. In many cases, DWI charges never go to trial. If a case does go to trial, the prosecutor has the burden of proof, meaning it is his or her job to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in violation of Minnesota’s DWI laws.
When a trial results in a “guilty” verdict, the case moves into sentencing. This can include the issuance of fines, jail time, and probation. After the sentence is passed down, you may choose to appeal the decision. The appeal process is often long and difficult.
DWI Defense Lawyer
A DWI case can be a very challenging process for the defendant. Rather than trying to navigate through the complicated court system and fight these charges alone, you need a qualified defense lawyer on your side. Your lawyer will gather the necessary evidence that will prevent you from being a victim of the courts.
With a lawyer on your side, the DWI court process will be much less difficult for you. In many cases, your defense lawyer may be able to get your charges reduced, or even dropped.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
When you are charged with a DWI, you need to be prepared to deal with a difficult court process. At the Brown Law Offices, P.A., we have the experience and knowledge to guide you through the legal hoops. Our attorneys will work hard to make sure you get the best possible result in your case. Don’t let a confusing court process lead to a life-changing DWI conviction. Call us today at 763-323-6555, or complete our online form for a free consultation.